Health and wellness goes beyond physical appearance  – well being begins with healthy habits incorporated into your daily lifestyle. The older I get, the more focus I put on my personal wellness and developing long term, healthy habits that will benefit both body and mind. Although I’m no health professional, I’ve found that in general small changes in lifestyle lead to lasting results. Here are 5 healthy habits I’ve tried to incorporate regularly into my lifestyle that I have found to help my body and mind.

5 Healthy Habits To Start Today:

1. Drink water.

Duhh. Up to 60% of our bodies are made of water. I aim to drink one ounce per every pound I weigh every day. I always up my water intake BIG TIME when I’m doing a weekend detox. Extreme? I don’t think so. Water is the best beverage out there for you. Period. I keep a liter size water bottle at my desk, in my purse, in my car…

I promise, if you drink more water you will:

Be more alert. Before you reach for another cup of coffee, first chug a glass of water and see how you feel. We often don’t realize how dehydrated we are and mistake dehydration for fatigue. 

Be more in tune with your cravings. Same thing goes for hunger – it’s easy to confuse hunger and thirst. If you’re having pesky cravings, have a glass of water before choosing a snack – you’re more likely to make a healthy choice, or realize that you may not have been hungry after all.

See an improvement in the texture of your skin. I’m no dermatologist, BUT I have noticed a correlation between the amount of water I drink and how my skin looks and feels. If you’ve ever been on a plane, you know what I’m talking about. The morning after a night of drinking? Your skin is probably rebelling. Also, living in an extremely dry climate sucks the moisture of your skin, so drink up! 

– Have to go to pee more. Ha. 

2. Write down everything you eat.

I know, you’re probably thinking I’m a psycho. But hear me out – if you work a full time job that involves sitting down at a desk for the majority of your day, you’re probably not the most active person.

You don’t have to do this everyday, but it’s a helpful exercise to understand exactly what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. Keeping a log of what you eat, even if it’s only a week, helps you identify patterns such as when cravings hit or if you’re waiting too long in between meals.

Keep yourself accountable – you might be surprised how quickly little bites and snacks here and there add up. It’s a little crazy and OCD, but I largely credit this as one of the healthy habits responsible for maintaining a steady weight despite sitting down in front of a computer for 10 hours a day and only working out 2-3x a week.

3. Wear SPF.

I have talked about the importance of wearing SPF every. single. day. and I will say it again – for the sake of your future self and skin, wear SPF!! You will NOT regret this in 10 years.

4. Eat fats.

Fats are the BEST. I could do an entire post on my love for fats. They are SO GOOD FOR YOU. The negative myths on fats have been largely dispelled, but it is amazing how many people still shy away from them. People, fats are the bomb.com: they keep you full longer and nourish your body from the inside out. I swear my skin glows when I eat more fats. 

My favorite fats include avocados (one of my favorite foods ever), eggs WITH the yolk, almond butter, and wild caught salmon. If you eat dairy, I prefer full fat dairy – yes there are more calories, but recent studies have suggested that full fat dairy may be better for you than low-fat.

5. Be Mindful

Meditate – even if only for a few minutes a day. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve concentration, and increase happiness. In fact, studies show that meditation can actually change your brain. I also try to write down three things a day that I’m grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big – the mere act of practicing gratitude can lead to a more positive mood, self-awareness, and being more compassionate. A healthy mind feeds a healthy body and soul. 

At the end of the day, I’m human. I am the furthest thing from perfect and I have to remind myself on a daily basis to incorporate healthy habits. Don’t even get me started on the pile of clothes on the ground that never seems to disappear, no matter how hard I try…

Building healthy habits take time but if you stick with them the results are always worth it. I know we’re 6 months out of our New Year’s Resolutions, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. What habits have you been trying to incorporate into your life or break? I’m always open to suggestions.

xx, Amy

 

Korakia Pensione Resort Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Resort Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Resort Palm Springs

My daily life tends to be go, go, go – I’m constantly reminded by others (and myself) on the importance of slowing down. In my opinion, Palm Springs is the perfect Southern California weekend getaway when you’re looking to do just that. It’s by far my favorite place to escape the daily grind of city life and unwind.

My weekends in Palm Springs typically consist of sleeping in (which I rarely do normally), laying by the pool with a cocktail and book, riding bikes around town, and long dinners at local spots. Driving into the desert gives me an instant mood boost and I always come back feeling refreshed and grounded.

Korakia Pensione Resort Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Resort Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Resort Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Pool

After two years, I finally made it to Korakia Pensione. I had seen photos of the resort online and fell in love with its quaint charm. The property did not disappoint – every corner is lush and totally Instagram-worthy – the decor is seriously on point and the entire resort was even more beautiful than I had imagined. I also loved the emphasis on disconnecting – while there is wifi on the property, the rooms have no TVs – you really feel as though you’re in a desert oasis away, despite being only a short walk from the bustling downtown strip.

Excuse the quality of my iPhone photos – I forgot the proper lens to my camera at home. Hopefully you can still get a feel for just how beautiful Korakia is! In addition to the beautiful Moroccan and Mediterranean inspired grounds (the resort is split into 2 sections), other highlights of our stay included: quite possibly the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in, a simple yet delicious breakfast in the morning, free bikes to explore Palm Springs, sunscreen by the pool, and afternoon tea in the courtyard.

Korakia Pensione Resort Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Resort

Korakia Pensione Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Resort

While the resort seemed to occupied exclusively by couples when we visited, I think it would be nice for a girls’ getaway as well. If you’re looking for something with a bit of a livelier scene, I would recommend the Saguaro, Ace Hotel, or Parker.

But seriously – the most charming, relaxing getaway. Although summer in Palm Springs is extremely hot, it’s not so bad if you spend it by the pool ; ) (wearing tons and tons of SPF, of course) – I’m hoping for a few more desert getaways in the coming months.

Korakia Pensione Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Resort

Korakia Pensione Resort

Spell Designs Kimono, Kiini Bikini

Korakia Pensione Resort

Have you been to Palm Springs? If so, what are your favorite things to do / where are your favorite places to stay? I’m always looking for new things to do and see – I still haven’t been to Joshua Tree, which is next on my list. Be sure to make time for yourself – sometimes a weekend getaway is exactly what you need to focus and hit the ground running again.

xx, Amy

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “are you a full-time blogger?” The answer: no.

I work a full-time job in entertainment. I started blogging on the side (a post for another day) and have come to love the creative aspect and community that comes with it. I love blogging and make a concerted effort to fit it into my day when I can.

Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day. I have a tendency to overload myself with a massive to do list (anyone obsessed with making lists?!) and get anxious when I can’t seem to cross everything off. 

Over the years, I’ve learned that multitasking is a myth and prioritization is everything.

Personally, I’d rather work smart than (unnecessarily) hard.

It all comes down to being focused. Which isn’t easy (for me). I get distracted easily and always have a million thoughts running through my head.

The number thing I do when I need to focus – the Pomodoro Technique. Yes, like the tomato.

Basically, it’s a time blocking method. You might think you’re great at multi tasking, but recent research suggests that, surprise, it doesn’t actually work! Think about it: You’re much more likely to get stuff done and do it well if you focus on one thing at a time.

Here’s how it works:

1. Turn your phone on airplane mode (seriously, the biggest distraction. Put it away!!)

2. Put in noise cancelling headphones. I like to listen to white noise or a track of the rainforest.

3. Set a timer. I use my phone’s alarm and set it to 25 minutes.

4. Focus 100% on the task ahead of you. Nothing else.

5. When the timer goes off, take a 5 minute break. Do whatever you want during this time.

Rinse and repeat.

** Feel free to experiment with your times. If you’re on your work flow and can grind through an hour of continuous work before taking a break, more power to you. If you’re having a hard time focusing, take longer breaks.

If it’s really not happening, I suggest taking a few hours, or even a day off entirely. You’re better off coming back when you’re refreshed and ready to work.

I’m still working on prioritizing my to do list and really focusing on one task at a time. For now, I’m really loving the Pomodoro Technique.

What are your tips for getting shit done?! 

xx, Amy

Affordable Denim Brands On Trend

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m back home in Minnesota for the weekend and looking forward to spending time with my family. Living halfway across the country from them is tough and there’s nothing better than a visit home for quality time with them. Going home also typically means dressing down and comfortably – I like to stick to basic outfits. Think: lots of denim. I especially love affordable denim and have rounded up my favorite brands that I love to shop!

Trendy Affordable Denim Brands

How To Style Mom Jeans Belt

Great denim pieces should be in every girl’s wardrobe. I’ve found that like leather, denim only gets better with age. I keep my jeans for years until they become perfectly soft and worn in all the right places. Unfortunately, designer denim can often run upwards of $200 (sometimes even more!). I love Frame and Rag & Bone for denim, but when eyeing trendier cuts and silhouettes, I try to find more affordable options. Over the years, I’ve come to stick with 4 brands that I consistently turn to for on-trend yet high quality denim around or under $100.

Affordable On Trend Denim Urban Outfitters

Girlfriend Jeans Urban Outfitters

bodysuit: similar | jeans: urban outfitters | belt: b-low the belt

shoes: topshop | bag: sancia | sunnies: ray-ban

Urban Outfitters – I’m wearing girlfriend jeans from Urban Outfitters in the photos above. I love the look of vintage Levi’s and have had my eyes on a high-waisted pair from Re/done for over a year, but they’re always sold out of my size and carry a hefty price tag. Urban Outfitter’s BDG brand offers a wide range of jeans and shorts that are usually around $60. I like their Urban Renewal brand as well for repurposed denim (wearing a denim skirt from them here).

Blank NYC – I discovered Blank NYC in college and continue to stand by the brand today. Blank has a great selection of distressed jeans that fit like designer pairs at a fraction of the price. In addition to denim, they also have a fantastic collection of tops, sweaters, and jackets. I have several of their vegan leather jackets and shorts in my closet – clearly, I’m a fan.

Topshop – looking for a particular style of denim in a specific wash? Chances are, Topshop will have what you’re looking for. Topshop carries every denim silhouette you can think of in various washes and levels of distressing. Bonus points because they offer short, regular, and long inseams! There really is something for everyone.

Free People – major retro denim vibes with everyone’s favorite boho brand. Many of their pieces are surprisingly affordable – my fave, the denim super flare is under $100 and instantly adds a 70’s feel to any outfit. I’m a huge fan of their cut offs as well.

There you have it – my favorite affordable yet quality denim brands. Check them out, and let me know what you think! If you’re looking for more affordable items, check out my favorite affordable shoe brands.

Do you have any favorite denim brands? A girl can never have too many pairs of jeans.

xx, Amy

Reformation Estella Dress

Reformation Estella Dress

Reformation Estella Dress

Reformation Estella Dress

Wedding season is fast approaching, and it’s got me thinking about what to wear (naturally). I’ve realized that it’s a bit of a tricky situation for most women. You likely don’t want to buy a dress for just that one occasion. Personally, I hate the thought of buying a dress (or anything for that matter) and only putting it to use once. What a waste! And let’s be real, weddings can get expensive, fast. The last thing you want to do is blow a ton of cash on a long, formal dress that you’ll wear once.

It’s important to shop smart when choosing what to wear to a wedding. While I generally believe that rules are made to be broken when deciding what to wear, weddings are an exception. There are a few rules that are meant to be followed…

1. Do not wear white. This really should be a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people inadvertently show up to weddings in ivory or cream dresses. Unless the bride says it’s okay for guests to wear white, I repeat, do not do it! A little white is okay, as long as it is not the primary color of your outfit. If you’re unsure of the shade of your dress, don’t even take the chance. If you gotta ask, it’s better left at home. There should only be one white dress in the room, and it shouldn’t be on you! 

2. Pay attention to the dress code. Look for details on the wedding invitation – the recommended dress code will usually be next to the venue. This can range from more casual attire all the way to black tie – just make sure your outfit fits the venue. For a less formal wedding where cocktail attire is appropriate, I love the idea of wearing a jumpsuit. If it’s black tie, feel free to experiment with colors or prints. In general, I think it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed at a wedding, but if you’re really unsure of the dress code, ask the bride.

3. Cover up. Ok, so maybe not completely, but this is not the time to bust out your skintight, bodycon minidress. It’s someone else’s big day and you really should not be stealing the spotlight. This doesn’t mean you have to come in a caftan, but you probably should leave some things to the imagination. 

Easy enough, right? Now, where to go for dresses…

If you’re looking to:

Save:

Spend

Splurge

Are you attending any weddings this summer? If so, what are you planning to wear?

xx, Amy

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